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Ladd to Hamrlik, Neuvirth: Get your facts right

Nov 24, 2012, 5:27 PM EDT

Andrew Ladd #16 is congratulated after assisting on the goal by Kyle Wellwood #13 (not pictured) of the Winnipeg Jets during the first period against the Florida Panthers on October 31, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Jets defeated the Panthers 4-3 in a shoot out.
(October 30, 2011 - Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Roman Hamrlik put himself in the center of a controversy when he spoke out against NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and suggested that the union should vote on the owner’s latest proposal. He later expanded on his remarks, but didn’t offer a retraction.

As a result, Hamrlik has been criticized by a lot of players, including Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd, who thinks Hamrlik needs to do more research on the subject.

“I disagree with his opinion, for sure,” said Ladd in a Winnipeg Sun report. “Everyone is allowed to state their own opinion, but if you’re going to do that, I would make sure that your facts are straight too.

“(Hamrlik) said the deal (in 2005) didn’t get better after that (lockout ended) and it did. It was a hard cap when they cancelled the year and it ended up being tied to revenue, which bumped it up to where it is right now. It’s inaccurate in that sense.”

Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth also made headlines with his support of Roman Hamrlik. However, Neuvirth took it a step further by suggesting that this lockout is about “several superstars with big contracts.”

“That’s completely false,” said Ladd. He argued that superstars are going to get paid handsomely regardless of what happens, but issues like contracting rights would impact everyone.

“I would encourage them to check into it a little more,” said Ladd, “be on some calls and get a little more information.”

If these are the kinds of comments that are getting exchanged in public, imagine how a private conference call would go when/if Hamrlik and Neuvirth speak up.

  1. sampulls - Nov 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    For those who wish…..really think about it…….there shouldn’t be any negotiating at all. The owners say here is what you get….and players take it or move on. Isn’t that how free markets work? Any unions designed to protect millionaires is a joke!

    • paperlions - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      No, a free market would have owners pay players individually, whatever they liked, allowing the MARKET to determine the value of each players contract. There is nothing “free” about the market for player skills in the NHL.

    • paperlions - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      ….Ladd would have told you to get your facts straight before commenting.

    • east96st - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Adding to paperlions comments, a free market means no draft. All players can choose to play for whomever they please. Each player would negotiate his own contracts and benefits. Especially poor performing teams, like the Blue Jackets, would be forced to either hire freelance hockey players and/or pay ridiculous premiums for players and NO ONE would sign for more than two years. The best players would only, and could only, play in the biggest markets. You a Winnipeg fan? Sorry, you’re s**t out of luck. Winnipeg could never afford to pay the “you have to live in Winnipeg” premium to an all star caliber player. You would be looking at a massive loss of teams. Let’s be honest, it would probably be NY, Philly, Boston, Chicago, LA, Montreal, and a few others would struggle to hang on. No one else has large enough TV markets to really compete. TV ad revenue would go to each individual team and no national company is going to pay much for ad time during a Buffalo game. Do you like watching the game on TV? Welcome to pay per view! Each team would have to form it’s own cable network and charge for the games. Like a player so much you want his jersey? It may, or may not, be available. The top players would insist on their own merchandise deal. As for rule changes, well, expect the game to change dramatically. Top players would insist on opening up the ice and making sure they don’t get hurt. Too much at stake to risk having a shoulder separated when you get checked into the boards.

      Free markets have NOTHING to do with professional sports. Sports couldn’t function in a true free market. As for complaining about “unions designed to protect millionaires”, well I guess you can say that is strange. But probably not as strange as some hockey fan who is probably making just over $35 grand a year sticking up for a billionaire owner that uses your tax dollars to build his stadiums, fill his pockets, and financially prop up his team while charging you top dollar to come and see a game. Or, in the case of a lockout year, which sure seems to happen a lot, NOT see a game.

      • thomaspratt - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        [quote]Free markets have NOTHING to do with professional sports. Sports couldn’t function in a true free market[/quote]

        The EPL and most European soccer leagues seem to do just fine working on this type of model.

      • east96st - Nov 24, 2012 at 8:07 PM

        thomaspratt – Okay, technically, I should have emphasized I was discussing US based leagues. Thought that went without saying since we are discussing the NHL. But, I would point out, that neither the EPL nor most European soccer leagues are really all that competitive. The big market teams dominate, pretty much, year in and year out. Pay for view is common and some clubs charge tickets prices that make the NHL look like a bargain. If you’re a fan of ManU or Chelsea, you’re usually guaranteed a competitive season. But if you’re a fan of Derby, well, all you hope for is if your team does get promoted, it won’t be one season and relegation all over again. I like the promotion/relation system, but it’s got to wear on you as a fan of a team that just cannot compete with the salaries and never having your team have a chance for it’s moment at the top.

      • thomaspratt - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM

        I don’t know that a league with a well entrenched top tier is worse that the artificial parity we currently have in the NHL. Why should fans of top teams like the Rangers, Leafs, Canucks, Flyers, etc pay to artificially support the competitiveness of teams like Columbus. Florida, Dallas, Colorado. etc? Believe me, it’s not so I can watch the Jackets and Stars four times a year and the Avs eight times. The lack of a free market keeps those teams from feeling the truth of their poor markets and bad management.

        I would also think a free market would allow team owners to move their teams to much more profitable locations. It is a crime that the NHL’s monopoly power means there is only one team in Toronto. The NHL claims to be a gate driven league, but fails to situate teams in a way that achieves maximum attendance.

        Certainly, if you are a fan of Norwich City or Swansea, it can get tedious playing Man U (though Canaries did beat Man U last weekend). But you also have a series of extra-league competitions and cups that it’s possible to win. Promotion and relegation is a decent solution to the problem of perennial uncompetitive clubs. And if you can’t afford to see Man U in person, maybe you can take in the nearby Bolton Wanderers. Maybe if you’re a really big fan, you’ll pay attention to academy games.

        I just don’t know if I think the current NHL set up is really worth going to the wall over. There seems to be just too many weak or poorly run teams to justify the sacrifice needed to keep them afloat. From a fan perspective, I don’t think a free market in hockey is much to fear.

  2. chiefblckbear - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    In a free market there is no salary cap. I say the union vote that out and see the owners whine a free market lets the northern team that can spend the money down i.e the Boston Toronto detriot chicagos. Little teams the pheonix Tampa bay might suffer. In that. We had a free market the owners hated it and got their cap. So don’t bring up free market. Cause the nhl and owners control the market.

  3. bigoldorcafromvan - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Sorry Ladd. I am still on the Hammer.s side. The players and NHLPA are being too greedy and they will never get this season or money back. Like Keven OLeary said the players are like cottage cheese rotting on the self. Not many players have a very long self life.. total loss for them. Fuhr and the players should ask for the original offer again and accept it on monday. Sorry Andy.

    • rainyday56 - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      Cottage cheese rotting on the shelf ? I respectfully submit many of the players who are inactive in this lock out are healing up nicely and will return to action better than ever. Remember how good the hockey was after the last lockout?
      Rule changes had their effect sure. But everyone started the next season healthy. It makes a big difference.

  4. sportsfan69 - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    To the Veteran leadership it’s time to stand up and take over the NHLPA before there is NO season to play for.


  5. sportsfan69 - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM


    Please post it.


    • blomfeld - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      here you go friend … hopefully this is the one you wanted ?

  6. tortowl - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    This just in: You have tarnished your League, you have angered loyal fans and sponsors, the ones that enable you to be paid.
    The fact that players are now finger pointing at EACH OTHER as well as Union brass shows how completely dysfunctional this league and it’s Union is.
    I once was a huge hockey fan, it took so many years for our Florida Panthers to draw fans, get South Florida excited about hockey, compete against the Heat, and now this???
    And you think it’ll be any different in other small NHL markets?
    Nice job on self destructing the NHL….

    • budvw14 - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      Simple solution…get rid of Florida and Phoenix. Lose the dead weight of AHL talent playing on 4th lines and let the league flourish. Brings teams back to hockey markets like Quebec City and forget trying to sell hockey to people who don’t know or care about the sport.

      • tortowl - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        I agree, even though Im a Panther fan, but why stop there – Columbus, Tampa, Carolina….

    • budvw14 - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      Tampa Bay and Carolina have something that Florida, PHX, and Columbus now lack… a marketable superstar! It’s easy to make money nationally when you offer the Staal brothers and Stamkos. But unfortunately nobody will tune into NBC to watch Stephen Weiss take on Radim Vrbata. It’s just too hard to sell hockey to fans who, unlike cold northern market fans, just have way too many other things they can do, without a premier name to draw them. Columbus…well…they’re just cursed to be in an area that breathes football 24-7-365, and Howson is developmentally disabled.

  7. sportsfan69 - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM


    Sorry, not that one, but still it’s good. Thanks!!

    From the movie Valkyrie that stared Tom Cruise. search by – Operation Valkyrie
    Operation Valkyrie, it’s 5 mins long. It’s appropriate. Arrest and detain the Fuhrer and his brother, before we any further destruction of the NHL.

    • blomfeld - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      I think I got it ! :)

  8. sportsfan69 - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:28 PM


  9. sportsfan69 - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Thanks my friend

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